Eliette Abecassis, Sepharade
2009, Albin Michel Fiction, French
Reviewed by M. Eliany
Eliette Abecassis knits a love tale, contemporary, as well as, ancestral, the tale of Moroccans and Sephardi Jews, vacillating between stereotypes, intentionally and intentionally, stretching limits of facts and truth, to make a story, anchored in the real, in a pursuit of her heroes’ identity, one’s identity, one’s self, free of constraints (p. 239-246), yet subject to endless affinities, overt and hidden, conscious and unconscious, and subject to misunderstandings and contradictions, in which rebellion and conformity are blurred (p.347).
Eliette Abecassis tells her tale of the Sephardim, aware there must be different perceptions of it, as in the case of multiple co-existing realities (p.265-266). It is a touching tale of a person, male, female, discovering the human and universal in himself, herself, through shaping encounters with the ‘other’, in love and hate, in a course of a lifetime, in which, a memory of historical dimensions in contained.
Eliette Abecassis deserves much respect for digging deep into herself, her heritage, our colorful heritage, cherishing its splendor, in spite of its entrapments, to make us aware who we are, as individuals, as a community, to love ourselves as we are, in our strengths and weaknesses.
Read this book and spread the word that it is, perhaps, a contemporary amulet, to save us from losing a sense of who we are.